In one way, it is like taking a piece of your heart and putting it out in the world. It’s like saying, “There you go, world. Take your best shot! Kick it! Kick it again!” Motherhood hurts much worse than anyone told me about. Everyone wanted to tell me their grotesque stories of 36 hour labors and C-sections, but no one told me what I really need to know….that the world would hurt me through my children repeatedly and deeply; that the world would be so cruel to my kids that I would find myself on my knees with nothing but a prayer to rely on.
If you are a mother and are reading this and thinking, “I’ve never felt that way,” just wait. I hate to be the voice of doom, but your time is coming. I pray that your time won’t be as traumatic as some of mine, but the time will come. You will have days when you feel like your heart has shattered into a million pieces because of the hurts that your children are suffering.
On the flip side, I am learning that it sure is nice to have kids that are somewhat self-sufficient. They aren’t as dependent on me as they once were. That makes me sad and excited all at the same time. In one sad way, it means that my babies aren’t babies anymore. In another happy way, it means that my babies aren’t babies anymore! It’s a mixed bag of emotions. No wonder I’m a basket-case.
There are advantages to having older kids.
I love the fact that the girl fixes me a cup of coffee in the morning. Honestly. She does. She puts the cream and sugar and delivers it to me as I’m working. She doesn’t even sprinkle glitter in it or let the dog lick the edge of the cup as she once might have done.
I love the fact that when I have a lot of things to load into the truck, the boy can pull it up to the front door for me. If it starts raining while I’m in the grocery store, he can go get the car so I don't have to get wet.
I love the fact that the girl can paint my toenails. She painted them today in a pink and black zebra stripe, and they look fabulous! It’s not even the type of paint job that would make me say, “Oh, thank you so much for painting my nails,” as I was hiding in the bathroom using nail polish remover.
I love the fact that my kids can talk to me….I mean REALLY talk to me. About their hopes and dreams. About their fears. About who has hurt them and how. They can communicate with me in ways that would have been impossible when they were little, and I love that.
I sometimes look at my kids and wonder what the future holds. I don’t know if the boy will end up being a mechanic, as I think he will. I have no idea at this point what the girl will do with her life. Sometimes, I feel fearful about that. Other times, I am excited. I look forward to the day when I can sit with my adult children and talk as friends. I also dread that day. I guess that day is coming whether I dread it or relish it. So for now, I will make the best out of every day I have. -Al